An Independent group

Seven Labour MPs resigned from their party in protest over its anti Semitism and general attitudes. Several of them might not have been re selected as Labour candidates, such is the gap between their thinking and that of their former party’s leadership. None of them intend to put their new attitudes and affiliations to the test of the electorate in a by election. So far they are not saying they are forming a new party, and there are no current plans to put up Council candidates in May or put up a candidate to  fight a Parliamentary by election when there is vacancy.

Their policy platform is also so far unclear. They come from the Blairite pro EU wing of the Labour party, but did not wish to play up support for a second referendum. Perhaps they grasped that that is not a very popular idea, and does not look very democratic. They were wishing to annex the idea of democracy to themselves, but would have some problem in explaining why they reject the biggest vote in our history when the people answered  the question Leave or Remain on promise of Parliament implementing the decision.  They said they did not wish to join the Liberal Democrats who showed that having as your main distinctive policy  overturning  the referendum on the EU commanded only 10% support in the last general Election.

UK politics has been substantially changed by the Brexit vote. It led to the two main parties defying the trend in the UK from 2010, and the trend on the continent, of  declining vote shares for the two traditional left of centre and right of centre parties. Labour and Conservative together leapt up to 82% of the vote at a time when on the continent the two traditional parties in most countries is  now well below 50% together and in some cases as in France down to under 20%. Labour gained votes by moving leftwards whilst saying they would implement Brexit, Conservatives gained votes by pledging we will leave the EU. The election did not show a large demand for a new party pro the EU along Lib Dem or Blairite lines.

UK politics this year will be about Brexit. Both main parties have to assist it or suffer electorally if they do not. Both promised voters they would implement the referendum, and both said they wanted an independent trade policy for the UK which means leaving the customs union. The Independent Group wisely avoided making Brexit the main point of their break from Labour, as they would be putting themselves in a difficult and unpopular position if that is their main grudge. They were after all  willing to stand for election on a pro Brexit ticket in 2017. They also need differences that will last longer than the time to our departing the EU. So far they struggle to define them, but doubtless will do more to set them out in the weeks ahead. The biggest point of difference they highlighted is one of tone and approach to people, with their plea for a kinder more inclusive type of politics than they find in the modern Labour party.

 

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156 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    A very good summation by our kind host this morning.

    They come from the Blairite pro EU wing of the Labour party . . .

    Blairism is very much in the European mold of politics – Compromise. On the continent their electoral systems deliver coalition type governments which mean, no one gets all they want. Under our system, it is winner takes all. The problem for Blairites, both Labour and Tory, is they cannot stand this.

    UK politics has been substantially changed by the Brexit vote.

    Nearly half a century of a slowly creeping and evolving EU State has deeply damaged UK politics. BREXIT was always going to do this as, on one side you had the Eurosceptics and, on the other side, the Europhiles. Over time the Europhiles have dwindled in number but, thanks to parties like UKIP and their influence on British Politics, the two main parties came to see that there was much unhappiness with our membership of the EU. This led to the Referendum.

    The election did not show a large demand for a new party pro the EU along Lib Dem or Blairite lines.

    Hence why they will not stand on that ticket. And this should be seen as a warning to other MP’s across the House.

    Our kind host has pointed out on numerous occasions where the ‘traditional’ parties on the continent, who have not kept their election promises, have been cast aside by the electorate. I am sure many are looking at this and are mindful not to let this happen to them.

    The defection by these Labour MP’s is designed to do Jeremy Corbyn MP harm. It is designed to damage his leadership but not necessarily Labour. Alas they have not decided to go down the SDP route which, one would have hoped, attracted a number of Conservative (sic) MP’s also facing deselection.

    But the election of JC and a shift to the Extreme Left has left a gap in British politics, a gap in the Left of Centre that the PM aims to fill. Alas.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      Over time the Europhiles have dwindled in number but . . .

      Sorry, should have read: Over time the Eurosceptics have dwindled in number but . . .

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Mark your analysis is a bit faulty ‘On the continent their electoral systems deliver coalition type governments which mean, no one gets all they want.’ In the UK nobody gets anything they want. Labour voters with Blair and Brown ended up with social inequality in excess of anything Mrs Thatcher achieved. While those voting Conservative got gay ‘marriage’, open borders and a doubled national debt. All you have in UK are parties who believe in the same economic ideology to varying degrees and this will continue until quite soon it all blows up in their face.

        • Mark B
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          DRW

          I see your point but, we are living in an age where the EU has great power over us through the Civil Service let alone legislation and treaty. Hence my first sentence. Outside the EU politicians and think tanks will have greater scope as we will be free to do as we please.

      • JPM
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

        Glib, and wrong. The EU went from winning a popular vote to losing one over forty years.

        Minute by minute selective reading of partisan opinion polling will tell you whatever the poll’s sponsor wanted you to read.

        • Mark B
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          How am I insincere ?

          And as to wrong, well get this, You stated that;

          “The EU went from winning a popular vote to losing one over forty years.”

          It wasn’t the EU back then it was the EEC or, as they kept calling it, the Common Market. People were conned into believing it was about trade. Post Maastricht and the creation of the EU showed people what the project truly was.

          I never listen to opinion polls, especially from those that predicted a Remain win. 😉

          • margaret howard
            Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

            MarkB

            “It wasn’t the EU back then it was the EEC or, as they kept calling it, the Common Market. People were conned into believing it was about trade”
            ==

            Here we go again:

            Extract from the official 1975 referendum leaflet:

            The aims of the Common Market are:

            Bring together the peoples of Europe

            Raise living standards and improve working conditions

            Promote growth and boost world trade

            Help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world

            Help maintain peace and freedom

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            @Margaret Howard

            Selective excerpt which refers to the market except legislative power and to only nine members not 27.

            There is no mention in the pamphlet of a European Parlisment or of qualified majority voting or indeed of five presidents.

            It was presented as a trading relationship which was as much a myth as no country with a Macdonalds trading in it has ever gone to war with another.

            The EC was sold to us as about trade, the problems of leaving are still being sold to us as about trade. If it was simply trade and free trade agreements there would not be a problem. It is the insidious, expansionist nature of the EU that is the issue.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

            Yes here we go again Margaret.
            Failed on all the aims above.
            Instead we have a centralised, largely undemocratic supra-national state making laws regulation and directives binding on its members with ambitions to expand have it’s own flag, anthem, overseas embassies and armed force.
            It started with 6 fairly similar major nations and a trading partnership and now it wants to be in charge of over 35 nations calling itself the United States of Europe.

          • libertarian
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

            MH

            Yup and they’ve failed on every single count, yet you are still in thrall to them … Weird

          • Tad Davison
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard,

            You must have been living in a bubble for the past forty years!

            I’d say the EU has comprehensively failed on all six!

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          Seven MPs resign from Labour to form new party: The Seven Political Dwarfs

          Potential Names

          UKNIP – The United Kingdom Non Independence Party
          The Metropolitan Party
          The People Are Too Thick to Vote Party
          The Social Christian Democrats merger with the Christian Social Democrats
          The BBB – the Bland Beige Blairite Party

      • acorn
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        All Westminster needs now, in the absence of a coup d’état , is proportional representation. That would really screw things up … or would it? 😉

        • a-tracy
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          What is it with people that keep suggesting proportional representation, we had a vote in the UK in 2011 on our voting system and nearly 70% said NO to the Alternative Vote.

        • Mark B
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          No ! All Westminster has to do is deliver on what they REPEATEDLY promised. And that is to Leave the EU, the SM, the CU and the ECJ.

        • Old person
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

          It may come as some surprise to some, but the EU have the fairest proportional voting system – the d’Hondt method.

          We use it to elect MEPs, and also the ministers for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

          Of the three UK wide referendums that have been permitted, the Alternative Vote was rightly rejected as the candidate really coming third could be elected through the alternative votes.

          The d’Hondt method is not so sensitive to constituency boundaries, as all the votes over the whole country are tallied, and then the parliamentary seat is given to the winning candidate with the highest percentage votes in their constituency for that party. His/her number of votes are deducted from the total tally and the next seat is then allocated. This is repeated until all seats are allocated.
          Every vote has meaning. The major parties, concentrating on marginal seats to swing elections, would become of lesser importance.

          If the ‘closed list’ is scrapped, MPs following their conscience could stand for elections rather than be deselected by pressure from the Westminster party.

          Using this method, there would have been 71 UKIP MPs elected at the peak of their popularity, and this would have better reflected the mood of the country at that time.

          The constituency, where I live, is a rural constituency in a shire county, and has returned a Unionist or Conservative party member since 1885. So, a great number of votes for other parties are simply wasted.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            If it can’t be explained simply in a single paragraph it is not viable.

            Your explanation did not tell me how it works

          • Edward2
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

            Presumably in your local constituency a majority of voters prefer a Conservative as their MP
            If they didn’t Labour or some other party would be successful.

          • libertarian
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            Old Person

            No they dont. You have no idea who will represent you when people are picked from a list, it doesn’t allow for independents either

          • a-tracy
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            So what if 71 UKIP MPs were elected, they are marginalised as they are in Europe and ignored. Minor groups have no effect.

          • a-tracy
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

            libertarian is correct.
            Change is due that if people leave the political party they were elected to represent they have to stand for re-election, this includes the UKIP MEPs that walked away from UKIP.

            The public should have the right to recall dishonourable and dishonest MPs if they won’t stand aside.

          • Old person
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            @Narrow Shoulders
            Trying to explain the d’Hondt method simply in a single paragraph is difficult. I tried to avoid the heavy mathematics and described the main points in d’Hondt, or gist of what it tries to achieve.
            A mathematically precise description can be found at

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%27Hondt_method

            and this has an example to show how it works.

            Also, an analysis of the UK 2015 and 2017 general election results, if they were ran under d’Hondt, can be found on reddit. Search for uk 2017 election results by d’Hondt

            @Libertarian
            You know who you are voting for – their names are on the ballot paper. The local constituency party makes a list of suitable candidates to represent that party. These are normally long standing members who have served their local party in the parish, borough/town/city, county councils. One is chosen to represent the party at the election. What should not happen is that the central party overides the local party selection process and shoehorns in their golden boy or girl into a ‘safe’ seat.

            @a-tracy
            I actually quoted the wrong number of UKIP MPs – apologies. There would have been 82 UKIP MPs in 2015 and 11 in 2017 – the difference was 71.
            With all these seats UKIP would likely have been part of a coalition government. It may even have avoided the need for a Brexit Referendum.

            I am not too sure what happens if MEPs switch allegiances because the d’ Hondt method is used to elect them.

            Labour is considering changing the law to allow voters to force their MP to stand down if they change party it emerged (announced yesterday), and will review the Recall Act.

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        You had it right the first tine😉

    • margaret
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      One always thinks of safety and links with Vatican city where TB is concerned.Then we trundle on to other undesirable religious factions which would probably like to isolate us from from the EU for their own gain, and this is my underlying fear. We want to make our own rules , but are we strong enough to say NO to danger without having the racist commentators put us in a state of guilty emotional vulnerability.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Maybe the UK needs a bill of rights and its own constitution to stop what a lot of people see as a dilution of our culture and values, and a gradual creeping ‘acceptance’ of things we have fought for centuries to get rid of.

        Tad

    • An appeal to JR
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Blairism is very much in the European mold of politics – Compromise

      >
      Yes compromise with the banks, compromise with big business, compromise with the neocons, compromise with the EU, there is another word for this sort of third way ‘compromise’, its called treachery and selling us out.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        I read that the website of the irrelevant seven’s new organisation is registered in Panama….start as you mean to go on!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Under our system, it is winner takes all. The problem for Blairites, both Labour and Tory, is they cannot stand this.

      They can when they win

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Except of course, it is not winner takes all, it is largest (usually) minority takes all. The last two “winners” represented just 36.9% and 35.2% of the votes cast. Neither can claim in any way that they truly represented a majority of the voters.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Under PR that situation becomes worse.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          In what way is a government that commands its support from a majority of votes worse than one that nearly two thirds voted against?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

            The way is when under PR extreme small parties gather together with one of the major parties to form a coalition.
            Then these extreme parties euth tiny amounts of votes force their policies into the coalition manifesto.
            When has there been a PR system election when one party got over 50% of votes and governed without coalition.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

            Show examples of when extreme small parties gather together with one of the major parties to form a coalition and force extreme policies. Real world evidence from multiple countries, e.g. the UK and Germany, show that it is the smaller parties in coalition that suffer from being in government.

            One party getting over 50% of the vote is perfectly possible if a party of appealing to a sufficient number of voters. There are plenty of examples of elections in India where this has happened.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted February 21, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            To give some real world examples from within the UK, Scottish Local Government uses fully PR elections, and in 2012, 9 of the 32 councils elected a single party majority under that fully PR system. Furthermore, there was not a single “extreme small party” in any ruling coalition in the other 23 councils.

      • NickC
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Peter Parsons, Hence why referendums are so important. You may recall that the last Referendum? It had a majority of 52% for leaving the EU treaties. So Leave rightly claims it truly represents the majority of voters. But the minority voted government seems to think it knows better than the 52%.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

          Nick,

          The modus operandi of UK government is that a minority do what a majority didn’t vote for. That is the nature of the FPTP system the UK uses. It is how everything is done in UK government, it is not unique to how the outcome of the 2016 referendum.

          Anyone who defends the current UK electoral system while complaining about how parliament is handling Brexit is contradicting and arguing against themselves. If someone really cares about implementing “the will of the people”, having a parliament which is representative of “the will of the people” is a good place to start.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            It isn’t about majority of votes.
            The UK runs on a constituency basis.
            We elect individual MPs in separate areas.
            The party with the most MPs elected forms a government.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

            I know how the fundamentally unrepresentative UK system works, thank you.

            PR and constituencies are not mutually exclusive, you can have both. Many countries do.

  2. Tory in Ripon
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Could someone kindly tell me what Brexit means? Some people tell me it is about leaving the single market, but that was not on the ballot paper and people like Owen Paterson, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Daniel Hannan explictly said we would not leave the single market. Customs union? I have no idea what the customs union, it was not on the ballot paper, and no one even mentioned it during the referendum campaign. We were certainly told by the likes of David Davis and John Redwood that we would be in a very strong position after we voted to Leave, that there would be no downside to Brexit, only a considerable upside. Will they be brave enough to go to Swindon today and tell that to the thousands of decent folk now out of a job? So, what does Brexit mean? It obviously does NOT mean what we were promised in 2016. It is time to have a referendum on a realistic vision of Brexit, not the pie in the sky and fairy stories we were sold in 2016.

    • forthurst
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Dear Clueless Tory in Rippon, the Japanese opened factories in the EU to avoid EU quotas and high tariffs: did you know that the EU and Japan have signed a free trade agreement for goods, like the one we would like, but apparently can’t get without remaining in a virtual EU, continually paying them billions, continually obeying their laws, continuing to allow free movement, continuing to buy overpriced French farm produce and continuing to cede our ancestral fishing grounds to their pirates?

      • Len Grinds
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        So as a member of the EU we get a great job-creating deal with Japan. Outside the EU we don’t. Interesting. It’s almost like doing trade deals instead of embracing “no deal” is the way that grown-up countries behave

        • NickC
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          Len Grinds, The EU is not a trade deal. Out of the EU we can and will make our own trade deals. Next?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Well said.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      We voted to leave tbe EU
      If we remain in the SM and CU and therefore under the supremacy of the ECJ then we have not left the EU
      I think that you actually know that Tory in Rippon.
      Just be open and straight and say you want to remain in the EU.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      I think you post, and possibly this one will be deleted. However I shall reply to you.

      May I first apologies if you feel either let down or lied to, I, and many, many others do know how you feel. I know this because for 40 years those who wished us to join, and then Remain in the EEC/EC/EU, have lied too. Had they not lied then I am sure we would have never have join and both of us and many more on all sides would have been spared the pain. Something worth considering, I think ?

      The fact that you did not know what you were voting for is your responsibility, no other. Perhaps from now on you will consider things more carefully and, had you done so, you like me would have:

      a) Came to the same conclusion that Leaving the EU was the right choice.

      b) Everybody in that campaign, Leave and Remain, either lied or embellished the truth somewhat. I was not fooled by neither and I am also not fooled by somethings our kind host sometimes says.

    • sm
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      TiR – all your post demonstrates is that either you weren’t paying attention at the time, or you are deliberately being rather silly.

    • Zorro
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Where you here during the referendum?? Did you read the government pamphlet sent through your lettterbox? Did you miss what the PM and Chancellor said about a leave vote meaning leaving the SM/CU?

      Those politicians stated that we would still have ACCESS to the SM! Is it deliberate blindness to the actualité on your part?

      zorro

    • NickC
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Tory in Ripon, Actually we didn’t vote for an ill-defined “Brexit” we voted to Leave the EU. That is what was on the ballot paper. Now the UK is “in” the EU solely because the UK has signed up to the EU treaties. Therefore to Leave, the UK must abrogate (leave) the EU treaties. If you are unaware that those treaties include the SM, CU, CFP, CAP, CCP, PESCO, etc, that is your fault. I suggest you read the Lisbon treaty as soon as possible so that when you comment here you have something sensible to say.

    • rose
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Brexit means retrieving our freedom and national independence, which we gave up bit by bit when we joined the protection racket which was the EEC and is now the EU.

      The hope had been that it would be of some economic benefit to us, but it turned out that it was rigged, economically speaking, in favour of German manufacturing and French agriculture. So we gave up our freedom and independence just to subsidise other countries and allow them to take our fish, while submitting to their laws and regulations. Our PM could not even persuade them to let us have our own rate of tax on our tampons, which they insist are luxuries. Nor are we, a nation of animal lovers, allowed to outlaw live export of animals from our own country. Our animals. Our country.

      The freedom and independence we had, had lasted for a thousand years and there is still no good argument for having dispensed with it. Freedom and independence is the normal state for most modern countries in the world today. Japan, for example, although she would like us in the EU for her convenience, would not dream of going into political union with mainland Asia, paying tribute and accepting free movement of people. Nor would she give up her fishing grounds to general plunder from the Asian mainland. Can you imagine her submitting to a superior Asian court or putting her defence and security, and foreign policy, in the hands of mainland Asia? Would she countenance submitting herself to laws and directives coming from Asia, many of them making her uncompetitive?

  3. Mick
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Apart from them leaving the party what I found amusing was the speeches especially the one by Leslie when he said , we can no longer knock on doors and support a government led by Jeremy Corbyn or the team around him.

    “The evidence of Labour’s betrayal on Europe is now visible for all to see. Offering to actually enable this government’s Brexit, constantly holding back from allowing the public a final say.

    “Choosing to stand by while our constituents lives and future opportunities are hurt by Brexit is a fundamental violation of Labour’s traditional values. Our differences go far deeper than Brexit. The past three years have confirmed how irresponsible it would be to allow this leader of the opposition to take the office of Prime Minister.

    “Many people still in the Labour Party will privately admit this to be true. We owe it to our constituents to say it publicly and honestly. That’s abit rich coming from a mp who was voted in to implement us leaving the Eu , if this guy as any sence of morrals he along with all the other defectors should step down as a mp and stand as a independent candidate in a by-Election and see what there voters think but no they won’t do that because there to chicken lived

  4. Dominic
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    We now have both main parties under the control of liberal left and hard left bigots obsessed with expanding State control across all areas of life and the diminution of our freedoms.

    I believe we are on the cusp of a new dark age in which monitoring and curtailment becomes mandatory

    We can thank spineless Tory MPs for allowing this to happen. We expect autocratic diktat from Labour but not from our own side. It seems people like Collins and Grieve are what we now must face up to.

    The UK is morally bankrupt which is the final triumph of our political class

    • James
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      It is not hugely surprising to see the seven Labour MPs resign the party whip. Clearly they could no longer stomach the back-biting world of the hard left. It is however disappointing that all seven of them appear to be entirely willing to disregard the majority vote in the referendum. Such a great pity that we have so many asinine MPs in our current Parliament who seem unable to recognise the protectionist racket that the EU has become. The electorate is well ahead of them, and there is going to be an exceedingly clean sweep at the next election.

  5. margaret
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Break off groups don’t ever seem to do well if that is their intention. I notice yesterday that John Prescott was annoyed with them on twitter.Perhaps it is just a ploy to rid the party of Jeremy Corbyn . Derek Hatton is coming back >>>>>timely.

  6. DaveM
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    What’s important is how your party capitalises on this. A pro-British party with common sense, fairness for normal people, and a determination to uphold traditional common law in defiance of ridiculous political correctness would sweep the floor with the Corbynites, the Blairites and even the Kippers. The iron is hot……,.

    • James Bertram
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Dave, that’s called the Social Democratic Party (pro-WTO exit, centre-left, for family, flag and faith). Have a look at their ‘New Declaration.’

      • John Hatfield
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Nah. Despite his denial, that was UKIP he described.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    The gang of seven seem fairly irrelevant people to me, only one is really known to the public and he is yet another misguided lefty lawyer. They are all remainers and clearly do not accept the referendum result. They stood on leave manifesto but voters want a real Brexit.

    As you pointed out the EU loving Liberal Democrats in this area only received 10% of the vote. The LibDim other policies of endless green crap, climate alarmism, expensive energy, open door immigration, very high taxes and endless more regulation are not very popular either. But then May is essentially a cross between a Libdem and a Socialist at best. With her wage controls, price controls, attacks on the gig economy and the highest taxes for 40 years, second rate virtual state monopolies in education and health care and the likes.

    The Labour party are particularly dire under Corbyn

  8. An appeal to JR
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    The biggest point of difference they highlighted is one of tone and approach to people, with their plea for a kinder more inclusive type of politics than they find in the modern Labour party.

    >
    They are the most unkind group you could imagine. Chuka is a humanitarian interventionist, which means he supports the idea of dropping bombs on foreigners for humanitarian reasons. Blairites are the worst kind of Left wing sell outs.

    • Chris
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      They are not about kindness etc. Put simply they are establishing a Remainer party under the guise of fluff. Hence their encouragement to Soubry et al. Jolly good. Let her and those others determined to block Brexit go, and quickly, please. Furthermore, if there are a large number of Cabinet members lining up to go if no deal, then excellent. The posts could be filled by Brexiters who are committed to upholding democracy and honouring the Referendum result.

  9. An appeal to JR
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    A vein media led bunch
    I couldn’t help notice the BBC was playing them as heroic martyrs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      The BBC are always good at being 180 degrees out on almost every issue.

  10. An appeal to JR
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Well Corbyn maybe useless but atleast he is a proper anti war Socialist not some crony socialist capitalist without a conscience, Blairite creature.

  11. Sakara Gold
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that the whole world finds the Brexit situation surreal in the extreme, our politicians laughable and the government’s inability to extract a decent withdrawal agreement for us a total failure.

    The EU have cleverly exploited the national d8visions over Brexit to their advantage, have outmaneuvered Thrersa May at every turn, as a result we will leave without an agreement with all the uncertainty that will entail.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      There is no uncertainty. Remember, the UK has been in existence for some 200 years and England, Wales and Scotland far, far longer. All we will be doing after being in the Stupid Club for just under half a century is returning to normal.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Sakara, you really don’t get it do you? May has not been outmaneuvered. She works for the EU.

    • NickC
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Sakara Gold, Well not quite. The UK civil service has cooperated with the EU civil service at every step. And all authorised by Theresa May and her ……, Olly Robbins. Remember the “Kit-Kat” tapes (Sun paper March 2018)? Chequers (July 2018)? The DExEU WP being trashed? The EU getting Chequers before the Cabinet? The draft WA? It’s not the EU being clever, they were handed it on a plate by our home grown Quislings.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    They should call themselves the Remain Party but I’m sure there’s a good reason why they won’t.

  13. agricola
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    A fair enough judgement. However from what was said by some Labour departers it was that the party had become institutionally anti semetic. It has now become through it’s newly acquired membership a Marxist party. I would judge that those who traditionally supported Labour among the electorate have no appetite for communism, so the bunch of arivistas who have captured Labour will find it a hollow victory come a GE.

    I have already warned that the same fate awaits the Conservative party if it fails to carry out it’s Brexit pledges. We are already begining to see the effects of May’s duplicity.

  14. Kenneth
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Theresa May and Phillip Hammond are considering joining this new Labour group.

    They would fit in well.

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    When Douglas Carswell defected over policy differences he had the decency to put his decision to the voters.

    The majorities enjoyed by these seven are generally large so they should put their choice to the test. Of course Chukka Ummuna and his ilk believe themselves to be more knowledgeable than his demos. This from a man who couldn’t stand the heat of a leadership contest. Take note Boris.

    I fully expect Ms Soubry to join this insignificant cabal.

    • rose
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Mark Reckless also stood again when he changed parties.

    • Al
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      It is being reported that Soubry, Wollaston, and Allen just jumped.

      I hope the boroughs involved will get by-elections. After Carswell, changing parties without a by-election to confirm the individual still has a mandate to be in parliament reduces credibility.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    So deluded are the BBC that the presenter of PM yesterday said that “even Climate Change is only 99.9% certain”. Well I suppose it depends what you mean by totally misleading phrase “Climate Change”. Climate has always changed and always will so it is actually virtually 100% certain this will continue.

    But what he surely ment is that one way, run away global warming caused by manmade C02 is 99.9% certain. Most sensible scientists (usually sensible physicists I find Professor Ivar Giaever for a good example) think nothing of the sort. Perhaps 99.9% of the generally inumerate arts graduates working at the BBC have fallen for the religion.

    The BBC, MSM and our school teachers are perhaps the reason why so many school children are so deluded and taken in by this new religion and so went on their protest. They need better science teachers.

  17. jerry
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The SDP Mk2 they will not be. Some are suggesting that there is a centrist gap in UK politics, but is not the LibDems centrist. The LD party manifesto appears to be all these seven wish for, and more, what am I missing – oh yes, electability!

    The simple fact is, these now ex-Labour MPs jumped before they were pushed (by their CLPs) from the looks of things, seven mostly undemocratic people who just can not accept that will of the people change, be that on issues of party policy or national with Brexit & the economy etc. and having exhausted every internal (and some underhand) tricks to get their way have done the only thing left to them to save face, whilst retaining their parliamentary pay-checks and privileges.

    At least those sitting MPs who became UKIP converts did test their personal political judgements with their constituents after ‘crossing the floor’, I very much doubt these ex-Labour MPs will do like wise…

    • jerry
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Off topic; I see the europhiles are trying to blame Brexit for the news from Honda, when the truth is the EU has caused this by way of the EU-Japan FTA, you can ship a lot of cars from Japan, at zero tariffs, for what it costs to run a satellite assemble plant.

      FTAs are not always good news!…

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        Not only that but when Russia and Japan sign a peace treaty formally ending WWII,I expect Japan to pour investment into Russia to supercharge the Trans-Siberian (TSS)rail network(Russia is already increasing capacity there by itself)as an alternative to the China-Duisberg arm of the BRI(which also passes through Russia).

        Look at the map,Japan sits broadly opposite the Russian Far East with the port (and TSS terminus)of Vladivostok,yet sends its goods both to Russia and Europe via the traditional southern sea route(a journey of 30 days +).Likewise North and South Korea are planning to integrate with the Russian Far East and connect with the TSS and Arctic Sea route.

        It seems obvious to me that manufacturing will want to locate itself along or within easy reach of this new Eurasian land bridge that is coming into being and the access to a vast marketplace it offers.Interestingly,the Economist, in a cover feature a couple of weeks ago -“Slowbalisation”-cited “the cost of moving goods has stopped falling” as one of the reasons for the current stasis.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          And what does it say of the May government’s industrial strategy where to seem strong, they wish to make an enemy out of a potential gas and oil rich trading partner?

          They rattle the sabre by indicating their intention to send an aircraft carrier to the South China sea to sound good, but even the former Defence Secretary, Michael Portillo, said on ‘This Week’ how foolhardy that was because we don’t have the ships to protect them. Thus a valuable military asset could be compromised very early on in any confrontation. A point not lost on the Russians or the Chinese.

          So who are these wimps really kidding, the British public maybe?

          If only we could get rid of these useless contemptibles and replace them with people of good judgement. Give me a conviction politician over a career politician any day.

          With any luck, the Tories will soon shed their own brand of the Maleficent Seven no-hopers. Unfortunately, that also includes the Prime Minister herself and several cabinet ministers.

          Tad

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          @ Mitchel

          You are right (although seabourne shipping cost is hard to reduce further but terminal operations, feeder systems etc have a way to go) about ditsance mattering less and less. I guess that that land bridge has more to do with speed than cost (and it will not be used for cars for a while). The Japanese are concerned because they are an island nation and now in a hurry to do the trade deals they sabotages for such a long time. Curious that the UK is going in the other direction. And the UK does not have a neighbouring continent with grudges about WWII still poisoning the political side.

          • Mitchel
            Posted February 20, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            Well,time is money both on land and sea !

            The arctic sea route will cost more per mile but the huge savings in time could result,according to one estimate I have seen,in a net $1m saving for a large container vessel.

            And exploitation of the land based routes has massive geopolitical consequences-power will drain from the former sea powers-it’s already happening-and return to the giant land powers.All those aircraft carriers will be just so much expensive floating junk.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        I’m sure you have a valid point jerry, and I am left wondering why Japan can negotiate a free trade agreement, but the British government can’t?

        Steve Norris summed it up far better and more succinctly than I ever could. When asked about Theresa May, he said she’s ‘useless’.

        Do you know if the EU/Japan FTA came with a ‘free movement of people’ clause, and did Japan have to pay a massive wad of cash just for the privilege of trading at a huge deficit?

        As an aside, I had a Honda a few years ago. I regret to say it needed a new cylinder head at just 1500 miles because of poor and faulty workmanship that allowed oil to get past a valve stem. Only an earlier Ford (again new) eclipsed it for poor reliability.

        Tad

      • libertarian
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        Honda has less than 1% of European car market they only sold 135,000 units in Europe last year. 45,000 of those in the UK, so whilst the FTA will help sell a few cars in EU, unless Japan has a zero car tariff FTA with the UK by 2022 they will probably lose the UK market or at least become prohibitory expensive

        Honda 3 big markets are USA, China and Japan. The Swindon plant made 5 door Civics for the US market as well as cars for UK & EU . They are switching production to electric vehicles

        • jerry
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; “They are switching production to electric vehicles”

          A total and utter irrelevance, it matters not one jot what type of ‘engine unit’ someone bolts into the bodyshell on the production line within the CAB. The big changes, in relation to EVs, are happening within R&D, there might have been some work done at Swindon but most likely the major R&D is in Japan.

  18. Adam
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Although having had considerable time to organise & prepare, the Insignificant 7 wandered into a launch of a shabby incompetence.

    They comprise a muddled bunch, united only by their sadness & dislike of Labour. They present the spectre of a depressive discussion circle such as at Alcoholics Anonymous, desperately seeking a useful purpose.

  19. ChrisS
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Honda leaving the UK will give the Remain campaign renewed vigour despite the fact that it has little or nothing to do with Brexit.

    Honda has less than 1% share of the European car market, despite their preference for petrol engines. Hardly surprising because their cars, while well engineered, are rarely attractive to look at. Their customers are largely retired and female who seem to place little importance on aesthetics.

    With the removal of tariffs on imports from Japan to Europe, the decision to withdraw to Japan is the right one for the company, who are not one of the World’s top five car manufacturers. In the car business, economies of scale are everything.

    Brexit was not mentioned in the announcement this morning from Tokyo.

  20. Peter
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    In Chukka’s case deselection loomed large. His local Streatham Labour Association had just been taken over by members who want a vote for all at meetings. So Chukka’s days were numbered.

    Some of the seven HAVE mentioned Brexit during their press conference. So it is not suppressed even if it is not their number one topic. I don’t believe Brexit will in the long term help the two main parties maintain strength as this article suggests. Instead I believe there will be a day of reckoning once the dust settles. It’s not just Brexit of course the public are now fully aware of just how remote and unrepresentative some of their elected MPs are.

    As I posted yesterday, Farage’s ‘realignment’ comment is sound. There will be big votes for other new parties in due course. Whether that can be turned into numbers in Parliament remains to be seen though. However, the existing parties will have to sharpen up on accountability via selection processes or they will simply lose vast numbers of active members

    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      When you have a Tory party that taxes you to the hilt and is no friend of small business but happily panders to minority pressure groups, there is plenty of room in there for some sane politics.

  21. Ian wragg
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    ‘Off topic. Much as the Remainiacs would like to blame Brexit for the closure of the Honda plant, this is wide of the mark.
    2022 is significant because a new Civic model will be due.
    Why would they want to build it when there is talk of banning the ICE a few years later. If Brexit was the reason they would move to an Eastern European country.
    Another reason is the misguided policies of our Chancellor and government trying to force us into electric cars. Honda unlike Toyota haven’t embraced the electric technology believing probably correctly that the rest of the world won’t adopt such stupid policies.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Agreed,

      Maybe an opportunity for James Dyson to reconsider where he is going to manufacture his vehicle…

    • Peter
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Toyota has reintroduced the Corolla model name. This was the biggest selling car in its day reliable and affordable. The new model will be a ‘hybrid’ however. This will add expense like the Prius and so I don’t see it taking the market share it previously enjoyed. However it is still manufactured in Derby.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      @ Ian wrap,

      You are partially right. Honda has been shrinking its UK operation during the past years already. They are the only Honda passenger car plant using the 1.6 litre diesel (a little gem). Their utility vehicles use an Isuzu engine. Europe is a minor market for them and in the future I expect all Honda cars for Europe to be from Canada (right hand drive ) and Japan (left hand drive), by that time in both cases tariff free and compliant. Should there be an ASEAN treaty including automotive, the Japanese brands’ lowest cost production sites (Thailand) would come into play also. (as well as Dyson hoovers..)

      Of course current Honda output in the Uk is below 100K units but it will shrink the market for firms like Aisin (air etc). What is not widely known is that Honda UK’s cars (especially the diesel models) use lots of components from non-Japanese suppliers, mainly from Europe. I reckon that Nissan is going through a similar process and that the Qashgai successor will be built elsewhere too. That will further shrink the supplier opportunity in the UK. JLR would not be able to survive on current production and severe trade friction for its components (as suppliers close their UK plants due to insufficiant loads)

      • Ian wragg
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Last time I was in Japan they were right hand drive and Canada left hand drive.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          Ian,

          Some people call UK cars [incorrectly IMO] Left Hand Drive because we drive on the Left Hand side of the road…:-(

    • Andy
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      You are wrong – again. Honda’s move is down to Brexit. As is Nissans. And Fords.

      Whether or not this is true is irrelevant – it is the narrative that you now have to fight against.

      Not fair – say Leavers. Nasty remainers are spreading falsehoods.

      No. We are winning the narrative. Since the referendum I have lost count of the number of times Brexiteers have shared stories about the EU subsidising UK motor manufacturers to move overseas. It is entirely untrue, of course, but it became a pet of the leave narrative. And in this world of echo chambers those susceptible to backing Brexit lapped it up. We can just employ the same tactic you did. So it doesn’t matter whether Honda is moving because of Brexit or not – what matters is that people will believe that it is. As I have said repeatedly – you lot genuinely have no idea about the strength of the anti-Brexit tsunami coming your way. We’ve got plenty of time.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        Thanks for admitting that the project fear propaganda remain and their friends in the media are deliberately publishing is all false andy.

        • Edward2
          Posted February 19, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          PS
          The EU has helped UK auto companies relocate.
          EG To Turkey in the case of Ford Southampton and JLR to open in Eastern Europe

      • Richard1
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        as Honda have made quite clear the move is not to do with Brexit. You are correct that Continuity Remain will make this false claim as a debating point. but they will not win the argument over the long term with falsehoods.

      • Peter
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        “You are wrong – again. Honda’s move is down to Brexit. As is Nissans. And Fords.

        Whether or not this is true is irrelevant – it is the narrative that you now have to fight against.”

        Honda themselves say it is nothing to do with Brexit.

        This is all across the media including the BBC.

        So good luck with your ‘narrative’ blaming it on Brexit.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        you lot genuinely have no idea about the strength of the anti-Brexit tsunami coming your way. We’ve got plenty of time.

        OMG, I’m quaking in my boots! What drivel you come out with Andy. Some of us are too grown up to believe the dross remainers are coming out with. We grew out of listening to fairy tales a long time ago and bullish threats from little people like yourself.

      • Original Richard
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Honda have specifically stated that their decision had nothing to do with Brexit.

        Probably more to do with a declining market for diesel and petrol cars worldwide and the new Japan/EU trade deal which will shortly reduce the current 10% import duty the EU levies on Japanese manufactured cars to zero.

        And anyway Leavers voted for Brexit not to keep foreign owned corporates happy but to keep some influence over our country’s laws, taxes and policies through the ballot box by retaining the ability to elect and remove those who make these decisions.

      • matthu
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        “We’ve got plenty of time.”

        Too true. A generation at least.

      • Chris
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Ford to Turkey thanks to EIB loan to help bring Turkey” into alignment” with EU prior to joining, apparently…:
        https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/taxpayers-millions-fuel-ford-transit-move-to-turkey-sjsdcmsn23k

      • NickC
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Andy said: “Whether or not this is true is irrelevant …” Your statement shows you believe that the end – the UK being subject to the EU – justifies the means – lying.

        It is the same attitude that J-C Juncker had when he said: “When it becomes serious, you have to lie”

        You simply confirm again what Leaves know Remain and the EU are like. And what you don’t seem to realise is that it is precisely this sort of amoral behaviour, like yours and Juncker’s, which has turned so many away from the EU.

  22. Dave Andrews
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Really can’t understand the actions of Chuka Umunna. Wouldn’t he do better to stay in the labour party and reform it from within? Instead he has crashed out with no agreement on his future political career. Given the costs the labour party has incurred in promoting his candidature in parliament, I expect they will demand a hefty bill to compensate them during any withdrawal negotiations.
    Here’s me thinking he was a Remainer, evidently he’s a Leaver as well. Perhaps he can negotiate a soft leave where he is obliged to vote with the labour party whip, but have no influence over the party itself.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      @ Dave Andrews

      “Really can’t understand the actions of Chuka Umunna. Wouldn’t he do better to stay in the labour party and reform it from within? Instead he has crashed out with no agreement on his future political career.”

      That looks very much like what a remainer might think about a leaver. Re the EU of course.

      • sm
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Rien, sadly you missed the irony in Mr Andrew’s post, try re-reading it, it’s rather neat.

      • NickC
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Rien, Again you miss the point. Umunna is a Remain – that is, he is advocating the UK remains in the EU. But he has decided to leave Labour. You know – that hypocrisy thingy . . . . oh, do go and take some EFL lessons for gawds sake.

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      haha like what you did there Dave Andrews!

    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Add to the fact that his voters did not know what they were voting for when they voted him in.

      PS I like your style 😉

    • matthu
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha! We saw what you did there.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Will 700,000 march to revoke his leaving Labour? Was his decision advisory only?

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    So Dominic Grieve thinks he is “a conservative to his finger tips”. Unfortunately he is clearly one who want the UK to be ruled by unelected, socialist bureaucrats in Brussels (who have very little interest (or understanding) of UK at all. The UK voters voted for real UK based democracy and to leave the EU Dominic. You just have to get over it. They will do so in even greater strengh if they are asked again. If the Tories take your path it will bury the party.

    If you cannot get over it perhaps just go and retire to France with your Legion of Honour award & fluent french and watch all the Gilet Jaune.

    • Andy
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Fighting talk. And yet you are scared to ask the people again. I wonder why this is?

      • matthu
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        We need to give it time.

      • Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Andy – from you a typical Europhile comment. Keep asking the question until you get the right answer. How many times? Best of three? Four, five?
        What a silly billy you are.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Ask them what, Andy?

      • libertarian
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        We’ve asked 3 times now and each time leave has won hands down, how many goes before you accept you’re a serial loser?

      • Edward2
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        If there was a second referendum and the vote was close but the same as the first result would you respect that verdict?
        Presumably being a democrat you would respect my right to call for a third referendum vote if the second referendum result was a a close vote to remain as the score is now one all.

      • NickC
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Andy, And you are scared to accept the answer the people gave the first time. I wonder why this is? Or is there some magic in your view that makes the second referendum valid where the first was not?

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Real UK democracy would be a great idea and I’m all in favour of introducing it. Scrap FPTP and replace it with a system where everybody’s vote counts equally. No more wasted votes. A Parliament which actually represents the people.

      No more articles which compare apples with lemons (the UK system being the lemon) when it comes to share of vote.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Which one if the numerous PR systems would you want?
        Each one has its flaws.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      @ Lifelogic

      What is your problem with Grieve? He shows that one can be both rational and conservative.

      • NickC
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        Rien, It is completely irrational to want your own nation to be ruled by others. Not to say treason.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        He stood and got elected on one manifesto and now has one of his own.
        If I had voted for him I would feel cheated.

  24. A different Simon
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I have never heard Chukka Umunna say even one thing good about the U.K.

    When he was a lawyer he was always taking cases against the state .

    Our country is far from perfect but if he thinks it’s so bad then perhaps as well as leaving the Labour Party he would be happier if he found a country of residence more to his taste .

    He is very middle-class and not many ordinary working class Labour voters will shed a tear at his decision .

    Good riddance to bad rubbish .

    The Conservative Party ought to be trying it’s best to make the situation untenable for it’s remainers if they attempt to thwart democracy .

    • rose
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      He is the grandson of a distinguished judge (on his mother’s side), Sir Helenus Patrick Joseph Milmo, DL (born Helenus Padraic Seosamh Milmo, an Irish lawyer and High Court judge whose career was notable for his role in the prosecution team at the Nuremberg trials.

      This may have heightened his reaction to the Labour Party’s antisemitism.

  25. Everhopeful
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Not as simple as I had imagined….forming a splinter group. Far more to it than just launching out.

    I thought I detected an oh-no-what-on-earth-have-I-done look on several rebel faces.

  26. Dominic
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Is Damian Collins and his Remain cronies watching this site and reviewing its content?

    Is Collins doing the dirty work for the anti-libertarian that is PM May?

    Is May authoritarian and does she invoke the far-right card as a pretext for new laws aimed at crushing freedom of expression?

    We are under attack and we need a PM that stands up and defends our sacred rights and natural freedoms

  27. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    To describe the labour party as ‘modern’ is surely a misnomer, as the leadership is more on a par with historic figures like Foot or Hardie – moving ever further left is not modern, but suicide.
    The 7 have put their hands up for personal reasons, and I can see why they do not like corbyn, but none of them are especially talented in demonstrating any passion. This is an opportunity or oblivion for them, and I suspect they hope to encourage other disaffected MP’s of the red variety, (Tories, Greens, Labour, libdems, SNP), to join them in a new party, which would be to the right of corbyn and about where many left leaning Tories sit. In this they need to fail, as the last thing we need is another socialist style party.

  28. Everhopeful
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Wasn’t it always said that the SDP kept Mrs Thatcher in power for years ? Fear of Foot and extreme far left?

    Maybe these defecting Blairites will do the same for the Tories now? That effect would be most welcome. Extreme far left now verging on ( ?) communism.

  29. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The only ‘policy’ they all share is to keep the UK in the EU and they say our politics is broken! It’s precisely their rejection of a referendum result, in true EU style, that is destroying not just politics but our democracy.

  30. Stred
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    It looks like the EU deal with Japan, reducing tariffs on cars, plus EU policy on diesel and petrol cars has been successful in wrecking our car industry. It’s a pity that we won’t have enough electricity to charge the electric cars that we have to buy, there isn’t enough lithium and cobalt, that few buyers can afford them and that the health benefits will not be measurable. Also that the real problem with air is in poor countries where they cook on stoves inside and with no flue.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood

      Indeed, it is all a bit vague. They appear to be social democrats in a sea of socialists or even communists. That is waht I found most interesting of yeaterdays happenings in Labour: the tone, body language and thetoric of some people that commented on this from the Labour Party and Unite reminds me of the student wars at my university in the late 1960s and some of the Englishmen lecturing at universities in Australia (in subjects requiring sociology etc ) I had thought that that sort of behavior had moved to the Bannonites on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum. Not very pleasant people (the commetators I mean). No doubt in earlier days they would have been happy to shoot these traitors in the name of the Proletariat.

      I hope now that you and your ERG friends will be good lads and prevent these idiots from taking power in the UK. Deal or No Deal, I could not care.

    • hefner
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Between Chile, China, Australia and Argentina there are 15 million metric tonnes of Lithium reserves. The present demand for Li is 0.234Mmt (2017 figure) expected to grow to 0.45 in 2025. That’s roughly 20+ years of future use. Then there is work on Lithium-Vanadium oxide, Lithium-Iron oxide, Lithium-Manganese spinel batteries, some of them (at a prototype level) expected to have a 20 to 40 years lifetime and/or 7000 charges (about 15+ years of daily charge). To me that very much looks like the lifetime of a present car.
      All this information available to anybody curious enough to look for it.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        @hefner

        Besides Li based technology there is good progress in the development of Mag based battery technology (better safety, less problematic waste disposal, abundant raw materials) and that looks like the winner for home electricity storage. For the motor industry, the fuel cell (running on hydrogen or methane) is favored especially for more powerful vehicles. And hydrogen will be a byproduct of wind electricity in the North sea, with a suitable pipeline system already in place.

        The challenge for the car industry is to develop from scratch vehicles that optimize the use of battery/fuelcell based electricity. Imo the Tesla is an excellent example of how not to design an electric car, but of course it has to be sold to a consumer who has certain ideas about how a car should look and feel. Just look at the little batteries in electric bicycles and imagine a verhichle with four or three wheels designed by a (motor or bi-) cycle maker. That would not require close to a ton of Li batteries and associated equipment to propel it to urban/suburban speeds.

        We are in an era of experimentation similar to the transition from horse-pulled vehicles to motors. It will take some 15 years to sort this out and the end stage will be very different from the current battery cars.

  31. Bob
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    According to the Taxpayers Alliance, Britain’s tax burden is at a 50-year-high under this Tory government.

    • Chris
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      That is not surprising. They are not Tory in their policies. Those key individuals driving the left of centre statist type policies need to be thrown out and a real Conservative government put in place.

  32. Original Richard
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    I would expect these ex Labour supporting MPs, or any MPs who defect from any party whose manifesto they supported at the last GE, to resign their seats and stand in a by-election to confirm their democratic mandate to represent their constituencies.

    Just as the Conservative Party to UKIP defectors, Mr. Carswell and Mr. Reckless, did.

    • Bob
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      @Original Richard

      “resign their seats and stand in a by-election to confirm their democratic mandate”

      But they might lose and find themselves out of a well paid job. What then. They might not have the necessary skills to land six jobs like George Osborne or an overseas posting like David Miliband. The occasional appearance on Question Time wouldn’t be enough to sustain their lifestyles.

      • Chris
        Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps they could head off to Brussels, Bob.

  33. a-tracy
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    All this split party business means for the public is that no party has to deliver anything from their manifesto, they can use the smaller partner to kick any or all of their policies down the road. Europe loves this sort of splintered groupings for that reason.

    The Conservative MPs seem to be more honourable when they switch parties, Labour appears to me to want to keep failing (the chap from Sheffield) and locked up MPs representing them, no honour.

    Re Honda, the Japanese must be very trusting that Brits who are supporting other British workers making their vehicles will continue to choose this brand. You’ve only got to see how successful moving all the manufacturing out of the UK was for the pottery industry sales like Doulton in the UK!

    • Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      There seem to be more of us who are buying goods that declare they are made in the UK. We are reading labels, doing research. I certainly wouldn’t consider Honda now – I’m in the market for a new car soon and it’ll be something that’s made in the UK.

    • a-tracy
      Posted February 20, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Correction some Conservative MPs of the right wing persuasion are honourable.

  34. John Smith
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Prediction: More Labour MPs (maybe a couple of Conservatives too) will join this non party in the next few week or so.

    When push comes to shove they will back the PM’s dreadful deal in order to get it over the line; IMHO, this is an establishment stitch-up to prevent a real Brexit and trap us in the Customs Union.

  35. Den
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    That Corbyn has not addressed the serious charge of anti-semitism within his Labour Party is proof enough that he and his disciples really are those ultra-Lefties who dominated the USSR many years ago. That regimen ultimately failed. And Corby has lost further support from his MPs.
    Nowhere in the world has ‘socialism’ been a success, although Corbyn’s brand is Marxism, the same type as his fellow Socialists governing Venezuela still preach. And now they refuse to accept the decision of their citizens to change the President. So much for democracy! (We could be in danger of that if we do not leave the EU)!
    How the youth at University today can be so gullible as to be taken in by left wing propaganda is puzzling.
    In order to gain a place in Uni, they would first have to achieve a certain level of intelligence. Yet believing that the likes of Corbyn is the new political messiah does question their mental abilities. They should consult the history books on this matter.

  36. MickN
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    So let’s see if I have got this right. The Magnificent 7 reckon that we should not leave the EU but stay as a member and reform it from within. They however have had to leave the Labour Party as they cannot reform it from within. It does seem rather incoherent as an argument.

  37. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    So what is the difference in terms of values and culture in terms of different factions between the Conservative party and Labour? or is this just a matter of time, as we ae seeing similar developments in the UK as in the rest of the EU? just a little later

  38. Stephen Reay
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Looks like Chuka Umunna is vying for control of the new Losers Party. It can ‘t be called the Democratic Party as they don’t recoqnise democracy.

  39. Bob Wade
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I think it is disgusting. They got their seats on the back of the Labour manifesto which promised Brexit. They are remainers who want a second referendum, so they should go back to their constituents and ask if they wish to be represented by an MP who is standing on a different agenda to which they were elected.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted February 19, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Bob Wade,

      This has nothing to do with democracy

      • Edward2
        Posted February 20, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense
        It is all to do with democracy.
        They all stood on the Conservatives manifesto
        Then they created their own.
        They were elected on false promises.
        If I had voted for them I would feel cheated.

  40. Mark
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I think your headline is correct – it is just one of several “independent groups” that could drop out of the Labour Party. The various groups don’t have enough (or indeed anything much) in common, which is perhaps one reason why this group is so small. I suspect that if the Labour Party were to fracture further, largely eliminating the risk of a Labour government under Corbyn, we might see fracture and realignment in the Conservative Party too. The centre left group who have openly supported Remain after the referendum would not be missed if they chose to join one of the new Labour fractions. Many of us would like to see constituencies being far more involved in the selection of PPCs for all parties. Time for an end to cliques such as Momentum or the A list.

  41. Sameold
    Posted February 19, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    So what now? Mrs May going to Brussels tomorrow.. it will be a complete waste of time. We heard A Bridgen on the C4 news tonight, he’s of a mind to have the WA reopened, wants to renegotiate the 39B. So then how many days to go now? Strange we havn’t heard a peep from Boris, IDS or DD of late..could it be all three along with Foster and Dodds are heading for the Lords- the fix is in? But nothing to do with the Independent Group

  42. BR
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    They were about to be deselected.

    That’s why they chose to go now, whereas the 2nd ref people were begging them not to because it sets them at odds with Corbyn so if he gives them a 2nd ref he appears to cave in to their demands (therefore he won;t do that).

    That’s why they are not making noises about a 2nd ref (yet).

  43. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    It may be that the Conservative Party will become almost exclusively a Brexiteers Party at the next General Election, with deselection of the pro-EU awkward squad. Failing that, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will do the deselection for them.

    More serious is the Gang of Seven’s objection to Jeremy Corbyn’s alleged anti-Semitism. In vain will Corbyn protest that he is anti-Israel, not anti-Semitic. The Jews suffered so badly in WW2 that they regard Israel as essential to their survival. And they don’t particularly care for a two state solution.

  44. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    And now Anna Soubrey, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston have joined them. Any more Tory Wets to jump ship? Go ahead, make my day.

  45. Simon Coleman
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    MPs saying that they accept the referendum result is not the same thing as standing on a ‘pro-Brexit ticket’. Your analysis is as convoluted and unreadable as ever. The fact is – you’re as far from mainstream Conservatism as Corbyn is from Blairism.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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